The Unintended Consequences of Self-Driving Cars

Driverless cars have not yet attained acceptance all over the world. The big companies like Alphabet’s Waymo are attempting to make driverless cars a reality.

With the development of driverless cars, it is clear that driverless or autonomous cars/vehicles (AVs) can be harmful to humans in distinct ways.

Not Affordable For All

AVs will be expensive because of the use of advanced technology. The massive disadvantage of the driverless car is that only the wealthy will afford to own one. Currently, a basic model self-driving car may cost up to $100,000.

Job Loss

Many people earn their bread and butter by working as professional drivers. In some states, truck driver is one of the top jobs available to workers. The massive disadvantage of self-driving cars and trucks is that it will lead many people to unemployment. The need for drivers will decrease, and people will lose their jobs.

According to the research, 681,000 people are working as bus drivers in America. When a bus driver loses his/her job, it is tough to transition to a new position if driving is not part of the job description.

Programming May Go Wrong

The programming of the driverless cars is done by humans, and there is always a chance of human error. The driverless car may work faultlessly at the start, but there is always a possibility of a mistake in programming. In case a single wrong string of code is updated, self-driving cars could be turned into lethal weapons and it can result in road accidents and harm to human life.

Will Raise Ethical, Legal, and Financial Issues

The debate is ongoing on the ethical, legal, and financial issues of self-driving cars and trucks.

For example, what happens when one of these driverless vehicles are involved in an accident. Who is responsible? The manufacturer? The Owner? No one is driving, so who is to blame?


Safety is always a concern with any new car, but a completely connected driverless car has the added potential of being hacked for fun, profit and other crimes.

Automakers do not design vehicles with cybersecurity at the forefront. Security experts have been successful in hacking the Tesla Model S and a Jeep. Just think what criminals could do?

Currently, connected computer hardware/software has the potential to be hacked. A connected, driverless car is a computer on wheels after all. The network that any vehicle connects to also has the potential to be hacked that can result in its functional failure and could also affect a single vehicle, multiple vehicles or an entire city.

The Loss to the Auto Industry

After the launch of the driverless car, many would then be available to hire in a rideshare fleet such as Uber or Lyft. Car ownership is bound to decline due to this possible trend. Will the automobile industry survive servicing fleet models? Likely not all automakers will make it and the automobile industry will be damaged.

Speed Limit

The programming of self-driving cars is done in a way to go at a slower or at speed limit. They follow all the rules and run according to the programming. As many drivers know, sometimes you need to speed up or slow down according to road conditions and who else might be using the road at the time. Traffic flow will suffer. The slow speed of driverless cars can cause a difficulty to navigate for humans driving a car.

No Privacy

Passengers riding AVs will likely lose privacy because a third party will be able to track where and when you go somewhere. A driverless car will be connected to data centers that will make passengers’ location easily accessible to the hackers. Worse yet, the government would also be able to track you. Of course, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you care? But you should—do you want to live in a world where anyone can find out everything about you?

Auto Insurance will Change

The Auto Insurance Industry earns because of car accidents and damage. The self-driving car ensures fewer car accidents, which means less income through the Auto Insurance Industry. But companies will likely require that you carry riders insurance—just in case!

Car Sickness

A car is not worth it if it cannot provide a passenger with a comfortable drive. Recent research carried out at the University of Michigan states that people will feel sick while riding in a driverless car. Passengers could easily feel nausea and may even vomit in severe conditions.

According to the research, many passengers could very well suffer from motion sickness, which would certainly put a damper on traveling inside the car. Will passengers actually be able to read a book, work on their computer or even watch TV if they feel green to the gills?

Bottom Line

AVs are not generally seen on roads yet, but expect to see them sometime in the near future. Whether you want to ride in one, should be a choice and not a mandate.

Shawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He occasionally writes articles for Upkeep.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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2 Responses to “The Unintended Consequences of Self-Driving Cars”

  1. Mark says:

    You can add power failures to the list of negatives. When there is a significant power outage due to a storm or whatever, there will almost certainly be consequences for the computers that connect the vehicles (even allowing for some back-up power). In a serious emergency when mobility is essential, these cars and trucks won’t be available.

  2. Jacob says:

    This is written like a 7th grade essay, and almost all of these topics are either very easy refutable or debatable at best. It seems that the main point being made here is that it would disrupt the status quo, and I have to ask why is that a bad thing?